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How to grow sweetcorn

You will need

  • Sweetcorn seeds or plants
  • Modular seed trays and multi-purpose compost if raising from seed
  • Dibber or pencil
  • Trowel
Do it: late-May - early June
At its best: harvest August
Takes just: 50 minutes to sow and plant


Nothing beats the taste of freshly-picked sweetcorn in late summer and growing your own couldn't be easier. Sow your own seeds or buy young seedlings to plant now and grow them in a block on the veg plot. Or use them decoratively, planting them in large pots or growing them as exotic-looking crops in borders.

How to do it


If growing your own sweetcorn from seed, fill modular seed trays with multi-purpose compost. Sow a single seed in each, pushing them just under the surface. Water well.


After germination, wait until the roots of seedlings have reached the base of the seed tray cell before planting out. Long, root-training modules such as this (see picture) encourage longer root development. Water the compost well before planting out.


Using a garden trowel, plant seedlings into well-prepared ground, ensuring that the top of the compost ends up level with the surrounding soil surface. Plant in a block rather than in long rows because sweetcorn is wind pollinated.


Sweetcorn works well grown in large containers filled with multi-purpose compost. Grouped with other container veg they make an attractive feature in their own right.

Our tip

Sweetcorn plants grow very tall, so take care not to position them where they will shade neighbouring veg plants.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow sweetcorn
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jemma.butler 24/11/2011 at 15:27

Can I plant F1 varieties together? They are Swift and Incredible. I do not plan on collecting the seeds from them, just eating them

rosytoes 24/11/2011 at 15:29

have found orange beetles on my lillies ,have never seen them before they have chewed holes in all the leavesI have had to stamp on them to kill them will they kill my plants and where have they come from.
how can I stop them.
there is slime on the back of leaves are the eggs in that slime I have sprayed with diluted wash up liquid.

chrislobsterman 20/01/2012 at 10:34

You will find that almost all of your crop is ready to pick at about the same time and you can't eat them fast enough. They turn starchy if left more than 24 hrs. I pick ALL that are ready and remove the wrapping around the kernel. I then wrap the bare kernels in cling film and put them in the freezer. At a later date (many months!) my wife takes the sweetcorn out of the freezer and puts them straight into a steamer, without de-frosting. They are still sweet and juicy - far better that shop bought ones.

rach4 08/03/2012 at 19:27

How do you know when the sweetcorn is ready to eat?

bafana 19/03/2012 at 12:40

when is it ideal to plant sweet corn.? are there varieties of seeds for sweet corns.if so which one is the long does it take for sweet corn to grow? best regards kgosi

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